The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to present endless growth opportunities for all industries in years to come. IoT is already permeating industries like energy, healthcare and automotive, where sensors, robots and other devices are becoming more connected. IoT systems can help businesses collect and analyse vast amounts of data. This enables better and faster decision making, giving companies a competitive edge.
Managing IoT Obstacles
The influx of data as a result of adopting IoT will enable companies to significantly improve management and operations. However, despite the prospect of IoT transforming businesses, implementing an IoT solution can be fraught with complexities. While deploying IoT technologies has massive potential, in order to capitalise on these benefits, IoT challenges need to be dealt with effectively, and potential challenges and security issues need to be overcome to ensure IoT success. Issues such as technology, regulation, scalability, roll out and security all need to be addressed.
In order for an IoT network to give value to a business, it must work as a single, cohesive system. From a technical perspective, the reality is that IoT is often fragmented and lacks interoperability.
To combat this, platforms must be able to operate across devices regardless of the make, manufacturer or industry. Overcoming compatibility issues is a significant IoT hurdle, but emerging companies are starting to enable increased interoperability through open-source development.
IoT implementations are collecting large amounts of data that could potentially be sensitive or harmful if exposed. This includes personal data about employees or customers, as well as proprietary business data about operations and internal processes.
On the regulatory side, privacy concerns, such as clarifying who can access IoT data and how that data is used, must be addressed. Governments and industry bodies need to set standards and regulations for the various industries to ensure that data is not misused.
Companies often successfully develop an IoT solution with many devices in a single location, but later discover that scalability is an issue. It is therefore crucial that the design of a system caters for additional resources.
The rolling out of IoT projects can be a long and costly endeavour for businesses. Rapid changes in technology means that companies run the risk of any new technology system becoming obsolete even as it is being installed. To benefit from the benefits of a new IoT system, companies must try to eliminate as many of the stumbling blocks as possible from the businesses development process to enable a fast and efficient rollout. They must also ensure that they partner with competent service providers that can meet their technology needs and enable agile solutions.
IoT devices are often vulnerable to security breaches because of poor design. This can have a major impact on company data security, as well as putting costly IoT-related equipment at risk.
For this reason, IoT needs strong authentication methods, encrypted data and a platform that can track irregularities on a network. If companies are transparent on how IoT data is collected and used, consumer confidence in IoT will also grow.
The potential economic impact of IoT is huge, but the journey to IoT adoption is not a seamless one. There are many challenges that face companies looking to implement IoT solutions. However, the risks and disadvantages associated with IoT can be overcome.
By breaking down silos and integrating data across the various business functions, companies can create a complete view of all data available in the business. A central system that is able to sort, manage and analyse this data can unlock greater insights and make meaningful data-driven business decisions.